Can’t see India-Pakistan playing each other in near future: Shahryar Khan

While Indian cricket team and Pakistan cricket team play against each other at International Cricket Council (ICC) events, escalating political tension between the two countries has put a halt on bilateral series.

cricket Updated: Dec 18, 2017 14:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
IND vs PAK,India vs Pakistan,India vs Pakistan bilateral cricket
Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shahryar Khan said it was neither PCB’s nor Board of Control for cricket in India’s (BCCI’s) fault that bilateral competitions are not happening.(HT Photo)

Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shahryar Khan has admitted that despite several efforts he doesn’t see an India-Pakistan bilateral cricket series happening anywhere in the near future given the complicated political scenarios that surround the countries.

With tension on the border and a barrage of terrorism charges against Pakistan, the Indian government has clearly stated it wouldn’t allow the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to go ahead with any bilateral cricketing ties with the neighbours. The two sides, however, do meet in global tournaments such as the ICC World Cup and the ICC Champions Trophy.

“The real reason behind the absence of India and Pakistan bilateral series is political and has nothing to do with either the PCB or the BCCI. In the current political climate, I really do not see any way in the near future that both teams will be able to play each other,” Shahryar was quoted as saying by pakpassion.net.

“The fact of the matter is that we have always been willing to play India anywhere but it’s been the Government of India who have forced the BCCI to refuse to play us and there is not much we can do about that. I don’t see a bilateral series between India and Pakistan anytime in the near future,” he added.

However, Shahryar Khan ruled out any sort of foul play on part of the BCCI and stated that the board was simply following what it’s government has asked them to do. He also took a dig at former ICC chief Ehsan Mani, who stated that the PCB’s demand for a compensation claim would only go on to hurt the relations between the two.

“He (Mani) is of course entitled to his own opinions, but I do not agree with that. The relations between the two boards have never been a problem. I will say it again, it’s the Government of India and their insistence on the improvement of the political climate which is the main hurdle between the two sides,” said Shahryar. “It has nothing to do with our compensation claim which is really our right to exercise and we are doing that via the proper channels.

“I know for a fact that they tried to convince their Government and explained to them that there would be a loss of revenue for both India and Pakistan. However, the Government of India has stuck by its stand that unless the political climate improves, there can be no resumption of cricketing relations between both countries. They will simply not allow it. But, I am hopeful for the future and hope things can change but at this time, there is no chance of any India-Pakistan cricket contact in a bilateral context. We will continue to play India in ICC tournaments as we did in the Champions Trophy and so on, but no Test or Limited Overs series will be played between the two countries in the foreseeable future,” Shahryar Khan signed off.

First Published: Dec 18, 2017 12:19 IST